Reforms implemented by the Coalition Government to stop the haemorrhaging in the VET FEE HELP scheme ahead of its eventual scrapping had a significant positive impact in addressing problems caused by Labor’s failed policy.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews MP, said the 2016 VET FEE-HELP Statistical Report showed the measures the Government had taken to rein in the out-of-control scheme were effective.
“The number of students accessing VFH loans fell by nearly 30 per cent in 2016, showing the Government’s reform measures were proving effective ahead of the failed scheme being abolished and replaced in 2017,” Minister Andrews said.
“A total of 235,236 VFH eligible students enrolled in 2016, down 24.1 per cent from 2015. Of these students, 193,868 received VFH assistance, which is a 28.7 decrease.
“Students borrowed $1.47 billion in VFH loans in 2016, which was $1.445 billion or
49.6 per cent less than the $2.915 billion in 2015.
“The Government took a number of steps in 2015, and again in 2016, to curb unsustainable growth, address unscrupulous behaviour, and to protect and better inform students ahead of a redesigned program.
“These figures clearly show our actions were effective.”
Minister Andrews said despite the effectiveness of the Government’s reforms, Labor’s VET FEE-HELP scheme was fundamentally flawed and vulnerable to exploitation and had to be scrapped and replaced.
“The new VET Student Loans program introduced on 1 January this year is focused on students and quality training providers, while ensuring the system is affordable and sustainable,” Minister Andrews said.
The 2016 VET FEE-HELP Statistical Report can be found here: https://www.education.gov.au/vet-fee-help-statistics